Jean-Léon Gérôme. A Muezzin Calling from the Top of a Minaret the Faithful to Prayer (1879)
An Ottoman Muezzin proclaims the Adhan after their victory during the Siege of Esztergom (1543).

A muezzin (play /mˈɛzɪn/; Turkish: müezzin from Arabic: مؤذن‎, mu’aḏḏin), or muzim, is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer (adhan) at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer (salat, Turkish namaz) from one of the mosque's minarets; in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the muezzin in his task.

The professional muezzin is chosen for his good character, voice and skills to serve at the mosque; he however is not considered a cleric, but in a position rather comparable to a Christian sexton. When calling to prayer, the muezzin faces the Qiblah, the direction of the Ka'bah in Mecca, while he cries out the adhan. During the worship service, the muezzin in some mosques stands on a special platform (called the müezzin mahfili in Turkish), which is opposite the imam's minbar and gives responses during the imam's sermon, the khutbah.

The institution of the muezzin has existed since the time of Muhammad. The first muezzin was Bilal ibn Ribah, who walked the streets to call the believers to come to prayer. Although many of the customs associated with the muezzin remained undecided at the time of Muhammad's death, including which direction one should choose for the calling, where it should be performed, and the use of trumpets, flags or lamps, all of these are elements of the muezzin's role during the adhan.

After minarets became customary at mosques, the office of muezzin in cities was sometimes given to a blind man, who could not see down into the inner courtyards of the citizen's houses and thus could not violate privacy.

The call of the muezzin is also considered an art form, reflected in the melodious chanting of the adhan. A recently released documentary, "Muezzin", by Austrian filmmaker Sebastian Brameshuber, shows Turkish muezzins competing in an annual nationwide call to prayer competition.

However, this may be about to change: The Minister of Religious Foundations in Egypt wishes to introduce a centralized muezzin by the end of the year. A single muezzin voice will be broadcast live on a radio channel simultaneously to all government mosques.


Notable muezzins

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MUEZZIN — Dans les pays islamiques le muezzin (en arabe mu’adhdhin ) est «celui qui récite l’adh n », c’est à dire l’appel à la célébration cultuelle du vendredi et aux cinq prières rituelles quotidiennes ( ルal t ). Ce personnage, jusqu’à une période très… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Müezzin — Theatrical Poster Directed by Sebastian Brameshuber Produced by Sebastian Brameshuber …   Wikipedia

  • muezzin — mu*ez zin (m[ u]*[e^]z z[i^]n), n. [Ar.] A Mohammedan crier of the hour of prayer; the Moslem official of a mosque who summons the faithful to prayer from a minaret five times a day. [Written also {mouezzin}, {mueddin}, {muazzin}, {mu adhdhin},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • muezzin — (n.) official who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque, 1580s, from Arabic muadhdhin, properly active participle of adhdhana, frequentative of adhanna he proclaimed, from uthn ear. Cf. Hebrew he ezin he gave ear, heard, from ozen… …   Etymology dictionary

  • muezzin — ► NOUN ▪ a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque. ORIGIN from Arabic, proclaim …   English terms dictionary

  • muezzin — [myo͞o ez′in] n. [Ar mu adhdhin, prp. of adhdhana, freq. of adhana, to proclaim < udhn, an ear] in Muslim countries, a crier, as in a minaret, who calls the people to prayer five times a day …   English World dictionary

  • Muezzin — Un muezzin appelant du haut du minaret les fidèles à la prière (tableau de Jean Léon Gérôme, 1879) Le muezzin (du turc müezzin, lui même issu de l arabe مؤذّن muaḏḏin, signifiant celui qui fait l appel) est le membre de la mosquée …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Muezzin — Bild eines Muezzins (Jean Léon Gérôme 1879) Der Muezzin (arabisch ‏مؤذّن‎ mu adhdhin, DMG muʾaḏḏin) ist ein Ausruf …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • muezzin — /myooh ez in, mooh /, n. the crier who, from a minaret or other high part of a mosque, at stated hours five times daily, intones aloud the call summoning Muslims to prayer. [1575 85; < Turk müezzin < Ar mu adhdhin] * * * ▪ Islamic religious… …   Universalium

  • muezzin — UK [muˈezɪn] / US / US [ˈmuəzɪn] noun [countable] Word forms muezzin : singular muezzin plural muezzins the official of a mosque who calls from a tower to let Muslims know it is time to pray …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”